Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Government, Media Lies About War In Ukraine -- Video Recycles Debunked Claims, Misattributes Info

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Video Does NOT Prove Government, Media Lies About War In Ukraine -- Video Recycles Debunked Claims, Misattributes Info Recycled List

Does a Stew Peters Show video prove mainstream media and the U.S. government lie about the war in Ukraine? No, that's not true: The video by the radio and TV host repeats debunked claims and misattributes information, often embracing Kremlin talking points.

The claims appeared in a Facebook post on April 7, 2022, under the translated-from-Russian title "LIE Mode:" It opens:

American journalists began to realize how brazenly the authorities and the Ukrainian media were lying to them about the conflict in Ukraine.
Watch the video until the end

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on April 22, 2022:

Stew Peters.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 22 15:22:19 2022 UTC)

In just over seven minutes, Peters and actress Mindy Robinson roll through a laundry list of debunked claims surrounding the war in Ukraine.

Ghost of Kyiv

The video opens:

Well, the war in Ukraine is one month old now and it's basically just been a nonstop blizzard of lies ever since it began. You've heard about them on this show, which is a good thing because you'll hear about them virtually nowhere else. On Twitter, they'll repeat ridiculous fabrications like the 'Ghost of Kyiv.'

The identity of the "Ghost of Kyiv" is not known -- if this supposed Ukrainian flying ace, who is credited with shooting down multiple Russian fighter jets, exists at all. Lead Stories has debunked two claims about the alleged phantom flyer (here and here).

Azov Battalion

The Azov Battalion is an all-volunteer infantry military unit forming part of the military reserve of the National Guard of Ukraine. At 45 seconds into the video, this is what Peters says about them:

In the New York Times, they'll tell you lies about the Azov Battalion. Azov Battalion, by the way, are literal neo-Nazi war criminals, but now they're our trusted allies. The only people that the New York Times will call fascists now are 'America First' conservatives, right here. And by the way, they want you to be treated the same way the U.S. is treating Russia right now.

Lead Stories previously debunked a claim that Ukrainian forces, including the Azov Battalion, use civilians as a shield. That mirrors claims made by the Russian Ministry of Defense and reported by the Russian news agency TASS.

No-fly zone

Peters' next target is Capitol Hill. At 1:04, he says:

But the most dangerous lies of all, though, come from Congress, where more and more lawmakers are demanding that we impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Some of them seem to think this is like putting Russia in detention. ... They're clueless, insane lunatics. A no-fly zone means U.S. forces fighting Russian forces. It means World War III. It means nuclear war, potentially.

While a few members of Congress back a no-fly zone, there is no widespread support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked NATO and the United States to enforce a no-fly zone but without success.

Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians

At 1:53 in the video, Peters says there's no proof Russian forces are killing mass numbers of Ukrainian civilians.

Every day there's reports about Russia intentionally attacking civilians. Dig into the details and it almost is never true. Civilians do die in war, of course, but there is zero evidence that Russia is carrying out deliberate massacres. These are the lies that people are telling to manipulate you into cheering for this war and it's working. Just like the lies before the Iraq War worked.

Mass killings have been reported in multiple cities across Ukraine, including Mariupol and Bucha. Lead Stories has debunked claims that these deaths were staged by the Ukrainians (here, here, here, here and here). On April 21, 2022, satellite images were released of what appeared to be mass graves near Mariupol. Local officials accused Russia of burying up to 9,000 Ukrainian civilians there in an effort to hide the slaughter. Human Rights Watch, an independent observer, has documented thousands of civilian deaths caused by Russian forces.

Staged White House photo

At 2:18, Peters brings up another debunked claim:

Even the White House is lying. The other day, Biden's Twitter account posted a photo of him taking off for Europe, but the photo was clearly staged. It was taken in an entirely different season.

The truth is the photo wasn't staged. Lead Stories addressed the claim here.

Ukraine invasion video livestream uses old Chinese explosion footage

At the 4:17 mark, Peters rails against the viral video of a 2015 explosion in China that was passed off by some as a Russian attack at the start of the war:

All of this is completely fake. We see explosions taking place on the Fox News Channel (FNC), they're just relentlessly on a repeat, playing this massive explosion. Come to find out that was an explosion from China from years ago. This is absolutely the most propaganda I've ever seen.

While this claim was debunked by Lead Stories and others, there's also no evidence FNC ran it on a loop, passing it off as a Russian attack in Ukraine.

Ukraine bioweapons

At 4:37, Peters defends the Russian talking point on bioweapons labs in Ukraine, saying "every time the Kremlin says something, it checks out." And then at 5:05, Robinson adds:

And then you find these biolabs that aren't supposed to be there and now you understand why the deep state, the media, the same people are all in lockstep. And when they're in lockstep about a narrative, you've got to check it out. I don't care whose other side I'm defending. I can't believe I'm defending Putin half the time, but I hope he levels those biolabs. They're dangerous.

Lead Stories has debunked multiple claims of bioweapons labs in Ukraine.

To wrap up the video, Peters throws in a bit of QAnon conspiracy theory of global satanic elites and their plans for the world, plus a dose of antisemitism. Lead Stories has debunked multiple claims made by QAnon supporters including these here and here.

At 6:37, he says the following without providing any evidence:

And anytime you see Klaus Schwab and George Soros and the Rockerfellers and the Rothschilds all instigating against Putin that tells me that Putin actually is more than likely my friend.

They are popular targets because of their wealth and faith. Schwab is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum; Soros is a billionaire investor and philanthropist; the Rockerfellers are the family that produced America's first billionaire and the Rothschilds have built a banking and financial dynasty across Europe. Lead Stories has debunked claims about all four (here, here, here and here).

Updates:

  • 2022-04-23T00:43:36Z 2022-04-23T00:43:36Z
    Updated to add Human Rights Watch findings on civilian casualties.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

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